The Sound … of Static

My doppler came in the mail and I freakin’ love it. 

LOVE IT.

It is so worth the $20 a month to be able to hear wee-beastie’s heart SWOOSH-WOOSHING whenever I want.  At first, it was a little difficult to find over my own heartbeat, but now I can find its little heart-beat in a few seconds. 

The only “problem” (if, after two miscarriages, you can even call this a “problem”) is that wee-beastie does not like staying still.  As soon as I locate that little SWOOSH-WOOSHING, s/he moves away and/or kicks, which makes an awful thump-y, static-y noise.  I could just lay around all day and listen to that little heartbeat, but apparently humoring me and staying still is just too much to ask.  

I ordered mine through Babybeat.com (a big that you to Vacant Womb for the recommendation and the coupon code!!) and I am very, very pleased.  I rented it for three months, so hopefully by the time my contract expires, wee-beastie will be discernibly kicking away.     

I also had to do the unthinkable this week:

I had to ask for maternity leave for next fall. 

More on that later. 

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January 26, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 6 comments.

Reassurance

I caved yesterday and called my OB’s office for a doppler appointment today.  My ability to manage my anxiety lasts just about a week, and then it starts to get the best of me.   

The heartrate was a strong 153, and there were lots of kicks and karate-punches being thrown in the background, judging from all the static we were hearing.  My OB held the wand perfectly still to demonstrate how active wee-beastie was this morning; I was impressed that I could not feel a thing.

My ultra-screen results were fantastic: I bottomed the odds out at <10,000 odds for trisomy 18 and 21.  The combination of bloodwork and the ultrasound are over 90% accurate, so this is very good news.  The only other screening test (aside from the routine ones like glucose) is an AF protein test at the end of the second trimester.  I am not going to do an amnio as my risks for complications far outweigh my risks of any abnormality.   

My OB is okay with me getting a home doppler, as long as I promised not to obsess over the details.  She thought it might ease my anxiety, and that is always a good thing.  My thyroid is also behaving, so all the bone-crushing fatigue was just pregnancy and the fact that I was subsisting on a spectacularly crappy diet.   

I have felt cramping off and on, and she is quite sure it is just things stretching.  I can just barely feel my uterus above my pubic bone, although I look like I have a pronounced tummy as I have a bulge right at belly-button level. 

My next OB appointment is a week from Friday, and then we get to schedule the 18-20 week anatomy scan, or what I am now going to refer to as the “he-beastie or she-beastie scan de luxe.” 

  

January 22, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 6 comments.

On Barfing and Bubbles

Last Tuesday it happened, just like everyone said it would.  I woke up and it was as if someone had “flipped a switch” and the worst of the nausea was gone.  I still get waves of nausea, but the worst of it is over.  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!   

Smells are no longer a major trigger, but showers still are, which baffles me.  Showers, before this pregnancy, used to leave me feeling clean and refreshed.  Now, they make me feel even more nauseous, to the point where I actually threw-up in the shower last night.   

Last week, I also felt, I think, wee-beastie kicking.  It felt exactly like someone “blowing bubbles on the inside,” as I have often heard it described.  I can’t be sure, though, because it is not a regular thing.  I am 15w4d, so hopefully wee-beastie will start asserting his/her presence more authoritatively in the next few weeks.

It has been one week since clinical confirmation that all is well with wee-beastie, and I am about at my limit.  I am jonesing for a doppler check or, even better, an ultrasound.  I am trying to hold out until Friday, though, as I have classes to teach and students to advise in the meanwhile.  I really want a home doppler, but I fear that I will either drive myself crazy with it or get nothing else done.           

January 21, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 8 comments.

My Problem

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I went to my OB’s office today because they said I could stop by anytime and listen to wee-beastie’s the heartbeat on a doppler if I wanted to.  Well, I needed a fix, so I stopped by.  After waiting for awhile, the nurse told me it was going to be longer than anticipated and Rob (the AWESOME receptionist) asked if I didn’t just want a sonogram downstairs instead.  Why, I would love another sonogram! 

As you can see from this picture, wee-beastie has figured out how to deal with all the nasty hormones.  I am pumping myself full of fluids and anti-emetics; s/he just flips over and tickles his/her forehead with his/her toes and apparently this makes everything fantastic.  Wee-beastie also had a good heartrate but was not so keen on moving around, except to get that other bloody leg back into a supine position.

My problem is that there is no way — even at the height of my yoga practicing — that I could ever do this pose.   

January 14, 2008. Uncategorized. 9 comments.

Pukeapalooza

Technically it is called hyperemesis gravidarum, but I like to call it pukeapalooza.  Its not that I was vomiting excessively (once or twice a day), it is just that between pukes, I was so nauseated I could not get out of bed or eat/drink.   

Whatever you call it, it aint’ fun.  I have thrown up more during this pregnancy than I have in all my life before.   

I started throwing up everything on Tuesday, even with the Zofran, and could not even keep down liquids.  All the tricks I had been using so far — B6, Unisom, acupuncture bands, saltines, etc… — were not doing a thing.  My urine was also so dark yellow that it looked almost brown, so the on-call midwife sent us to the ER.

4 Zofran doses, 2 potassium bags, 2 Ringers (fluid + dextrose), and one saline bag later, I still felt awful, so they decided to admit me as I was still nauseous and had another migraine starting.  I celebrated by throwing up the minute I got to my new room. 

After 5 more Ringers, mega-doses of morphine, and a new anti-emetic, I felt like a new woman.  All of a sudden I woke up at 3AM on Friday morning absolutely starving.  I was, for the first time in 7+ weeks, not nauseous and really, really hungry.  The nurse brought me a veritable feast (jello, turkey sandwich, gingerale, vanilla wafers) and I dined like a queen. 

My OB is not sure of the hyperemesis was causing the migraines or if the migraines were causing the hyperemesis, but they sent me home with strong painkillers for my head, a new antiemetic, and home IV therapy for a week.  (Yes, Mr. MC and I now know how to start and change an IV all by ourselves!)  They give me my multi-vitamin and B6 right through the IV to ensure that even if I am not eating much,  wee-beastie and I are getting important nutrients.

The good news is that I have not thrown up since I was admitted to my hospital room.  I was 14 weeks on Thursday, so perhaps this was just the last hoorah?  I still get queasy, but I imagine this is what a “normal” pregnancy feels like.  For now, all I want to do is eat cereal (Coco Krispies!) and sleep. 

I also got to see wee-beastie again when they ordered an ultrasound of my gallbladder.  My OB kindly ordered an OB ultrasound as well, just to allow me to see that the pregnancy was fine.  Wee-beastie was moving all around, kicking its legs and moving its arms, completely oblivous to all the drama going on outside. 

Classes start on Monday so I get to go to campus with a heparin-lock (the part of the IV that goes into you) on my left hand.                

January 12, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 10 comments.

Too Sick to Write

WARNING: The following post is full of self-pity, whining, and pregnancy-related complaints.   

I have been having marathon sleep sessions (i.e. I woke up today at 2:45PM after going to bed at midnight).  When I try and venture out, I get light-headed, hot, and faint.  I have had more bad headaches in the past two weeks than I have in the past year.  I have been super-nauseous — STILL.  I have been vomiting — STILL.  I am still religiously taking the Zofran so I can not even imagine how bad I would be without the antiemetic.   

I am 14 weeks on Thursday.  If I do not start to feel better soon, I am terrified of what will happen next week when classes start.

Oy. 

January 8, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 7 comments.

Unclenching

We had the NT test today and the measurement was 1.2mm, which I think is nice and thin.  The CRL was 70.6mm at 12w6d, so it actually measured 3+ days ahead of schedule.  I had 6 vials of blood taken today, so now we just wait for the results of that testing.   

My OB appointment on Monday went well, too, with all my girly parts looking “normal.”

I would not go as far as to say that I am relaxed about this pregnancy, but I feel myself unclench a little when I realize I will be 13 weeks tomorrow. 

The nausea, while still present, has gotten better.  Most importantly, I have stopped vomiting.   

My family situation still stresses me out, as does all the work I have to do to catch up for being sick for a month, but I will manage.  Wee-beastie is alive and growing (and moving all around actually!) so that makes all of this a little easier to tolerate. 

At my next ultrasound (18-20 weeks), we should be able to tell if wee-beastie is a she-beastie or a he-beastie.  I think knowing the gender will help it all feel a little more real. 

UPDATE:

I spoke to soon.  The puking phase has not yet past and as is now my pattern, I have a migraine starting.  Just about the only thing making me feel better is the thought that Jamie Lynn Spears and Jessica Alba are probably still puking, too.  Word of the day? Schadenfreude

January 2, 2008. Pregnancy #3. 10 comments.